“Advocates for Roma in France called Saturday for international protests to support the ethnic minority, two days after a group of residents in the southern city of Marseille expelled about 50 Roma from their camp and burned the site.
The residents blamed the Roma for a series of local burglaries. There is widespread political debate about France’s treatment of the Roma, who are also known as Gypsies and who face discrimination across Europe. The French government dismantled dozens of camps over the summer, but vigilante acts such as the expulsion in Marseille are rare.
A French association representing Roma wants protests already planned in 15 countries on Oct. 7 to give a voice to the minority, saying they want to “reclaim the right to be legitimately heard.” ”